Friday, January 20, 2017

Book Review: Redeeming Kyle by Zoey Derrick

Redeeming Kyle (69 Bottles #3) by Zoey Derrick
Blurb:
Falling in love was the easy part…

For Talon Carver, the commanding and charismatic lead singer of the rock band 69 Bottles, life has never been better—or worse. His heart’s at a full 11 for Addison Beltrand, his feisty PR rep. But admitting it was a much different tune. The dilemma’s even more complicated when adding his other lover to the mix: Kyle Black, the band’s handsome, sweet and sexy manager.

Why ruin a good thing, right? Things are pretty damn perfect for the trio—in and out of bed. But just when they find their best rhythm with each other, a rocky night in Minneapolis forces all three to reexamine their feelings—and take their relationship to new levels.

But can love be enough? 

The band’s soaring popularity, along with the pressures of maintaining an unconventional relationship on a high-profile rock tour, start to take their toll. When Addison starts to fall apart, Talon and Kyle must come to terms with how important she is to them both. 

Can Addison find the strength to be their glue once more? 

What happens when the world goes on…but yours suddenly stops?

When everything looks like it’s going to fall apart? Is love enough to bring Talon, Kyle, and Addison back to each other’s arms…and with it, the magic that true redemption can bring?

My Review:
Just when things are going back to normal between the trio after Talon and Addison's fight in Minneapolis, a major surprise turns the trio's lives upside down. Suddenly it isn't just about them and what they want and ready or not nothing will be the same again.

As Addison, Talon, and Kyle navigate the changes coming at them one after another they must decide if they are in it for the long haul, or if they truly aren't mean to last forever. 

I liked Redeeming Kyle much better than Craving Talon in certain ways. The changes in the trio's lives wasn't unexpected, especially when the end of book two hinted at what was to come but I loved watching all three characters learn how to deal with their unexpected surprise and grow up a little more. 

I kind of wished at one point that Talon and Addison would ditch Kyle - because of how he was acting - and just become a twosome but I liked how the author smoothed everything out between them all, even if it wasn't realistic. The only things I didn't like about this book were the way it was written in certain places, almost like the author/narrator was telling the story as if you were gossiping to a friend. It just felt wrong to me, and I did notice sections like that in Craving Talon as well. Also, as the author does go on to write Dex and Raine and Mouse and Peacock's stories in the other three books in the series I hated that the author kind of fast-forwarded in the end telling not just what was happening in Kyle, Talon, and Addison's futures, but the other band members as well. It was kind of a spoiler in my opinion. It was almost like she just wanted to shove it all in at the end. 

Overall, I really liked not just Redeeming Kyle, but the trio's story as a whole, it was sexy and fun to read and I'm dying to read the whole story of how Raine and Dex get together in the next books. 

My Rating:
4.5 of 5 stars!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

"Book Mail" Thursday #9

Since RoseBlood by A.G. Howard came out last week, this week I got my pre-ordered copy of the Barnes and Noble exclusive edition! 

RoseBlood (Barnes and Noble Exclusive Edition) by A.G. Howard
Isn't it gorgeous? What makes it an exclusive edition? There are 16 pages of exclusive content! (Christine's journal entries)

Waiting On / Soon to Order:
Thanks to a bothersome work project finally coming through I am finally able to order a bunch of books I've been wanting to get! (And by bunch I mean a lot. Here are just a few that I'm planning to order...


Broken Prince & Twisted Palace by Erin Watt



Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard


The Graces by Laura Eve


An Ember In the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

***
Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them?

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

"What I'm Reading" Wednesday #58

I've spent the last week in the world of sexy rock stars with Zoey Derrick's 69 Bottles Series, so now it's time to switch it up a little and dive into Wendy Higgins's NA Post-Apocalyptic Sci-Fi Debut. This "WIR"-Wednesday I'm reading...

Unknown (Unknown Trilogy #1) by Wendy Higgins
Blurb:
Amber Tate believes the worst thing she’ll suffer in life is dealing with the unrequited love she feels for her brother’s best friend, Rylen Fite. She also believes war is something unfortunate that happens places far, far away from her rural Nevada town. She’s wrong on both counts.

When an unknown organization meticulously bombs major cities in the United States and across the globe, a trickle-down effect spreads to remaining towns at an alarming speed—everything from food and water sources to technology and communications are compromised. Without leadership, the nation is split between paralysis and panic, but Amber isn’t one to hide or watch helplessly. She’s determined to put her nursing skills to use, despite the danger, even if it means working alongside the man she can never have.

Why I Chose This Book / What I Think So Far:
Wendy Higgins is one of my favorite authors and I remember having the cover reveal for Unknown (and the upcoming second book, Unrest) here on my blog. While Post-Apocalyptic Sci-Fi novels are not my usual type of book to read I decided to give Unknown a chance because I credit Wendy for being the author to get me to love high fantasy with her novel, The Great Hunt. Since starting last night and having a busy day today I'm only into the Prologue, but it has grabbed my interest right away. I'm eager to see how the story pans out. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Cover Reveal: Mischief & Magnolias by Kristi Cook

I have been a fan of Kristi Cook's books since The Haven Trilogy and Magnolia was amazing so I am seriously excited to share with you all the cover of young adult author, Kristi Cook's upcoming novella Mischief & Magnolias!!! I am so excited to read this one! 


Not only am I sharing the cover today, but I also have a teaser from the book that has never been shared before. 



To make things EVEN MORE exciting, author Kristi Cook is giving away a copy of ANY of her books to one lucky winner! Details can be found at the end. 



Who's ready to see the cover? :) 






Expected publication: February 7th, 2017
Add to GoodReads


When Ryder Marsden and Jemma Cafferty return to Magnolia Branch for Christmas break following their first semester at their respective universities in New York City (Columbia and NYU), their secret relationship is revealed—they’re literally caught under the mistletoe, kissing. Unexpectedly, their parents—who’ve spent their entire lives pushing them together—are somehow less than thrilled, especially when they realize the depth of their deception.

Tensions mount as the Marsden and Cafferty families struggle to come to terms with Jemma’s and Ryder’s feelings for each other, especially as they prepare to send them back to New York City together. At the same time, Jemma and Ryder must face their own problems that have arisen as a result of attending different schools—there are jealousies to be sorted out and hurt feelings to mend if their relationship is going to stand the test of time.

Will their love last, or are they star-crossed lovers, after all?





     Laura Grace nods and turns toward Ryder and me. “You two kids try and play nice for a little bit. Dinner’s in fifteen minutes—get yourselves cleaned up and to the dining room by then, okay?”
     “Got it,” Ryder murmurs.
     And off they go, leaving us totally and blissfully alone. 
     Ryder sidles up beside me. “So, last night was nice,” he says, his breath warm against my ear.
     Shivers race down my spine. “Yes, it was.”
     “Think you can sneak out again tonight?”
     “Probably. You know my parents—always in bed by ten.”
     He runs a hand through his dark hair, leaving it sticking up in all directions. “How am I going to last until then? Sitting at the dinner table across from the prettiest girl in the world and not allowed to touch her?”
     “Well, would you look at that…” I tip my head toward the doorway, where a sprig of mistletoe is conveniently hanging. “Should we risk it? Maybe if we’re really quick?”
His dark eyes spark with mischief, and I grab his hand and dash toward the door, dragging him with me as I position myself directly under the waxy green leaves.
     “You sure like to live dangerously, Jemma Cafferty,” he says, wrapping his arms around me.
I rise up on tiptoe, my head tipped back as I gaze up at him adoringly. “Shut up and kiss me, Ryder Marsden.”
     His kiss is gentle at first—almost tentative. But then…it’s like the room falls away and there’s nothing left, nothing but me and Ryder and this kiss that literally steals away my breath and turns my knees to Jell-O and my brain to mush.
     And that’s pretty much when all hell breaks loose. 







ABOUT THE AUTHOR





New York Times bestselling YA author Kristi Cook is a transplanted southern gal who lives in New York City with her husband and two kids. Her YA debut, HAVEN, was released in Feb. 2011 by Simon Pulse. The last two volumes in the Winterhaven series, MIRAGE and ETERNAL, followed in 2012 and 2013. Her first contemporary, southern-set YA, MAGNOLIA, was released in 2014. She's currently working on a contemporary YA with paranormal elements set in Savannah, GA.

Kristi also writes adult romantic fiction as Kristina Cook and Kristi Astor.


Other YA novels by Kristi Cook...






Find Kristi on...




  • This giveaway is open international
  • Winner will be chosen via rafflecopter
  • An email will be sent to the winner. 
  • Winner has 24 hours to claim book or a new winner will be chosen


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Monday, January 16, 2017

Book Review: Craving Talon by Zoey Derrick

Craving Talon (69 Bottles #2) by Zoey Derrick
Blurb:
It’s a crazy turn of life for Addison Beltrand, who’s always lived to work and worked to live. Now, everything is shifted upside down—and that’s not a bad thing. Stepping on the 69 Bottles tour bus has banished the heartache of her past, and feels like a rocking new beginning. 

Talon Carver and Kyle Black couldn’t agree more. The band’s lead singer and manager are falling hard for the beautiful rock chick, and will do anything to keep her in their bed—and between their bodies—forever.

The trio’s blissful bubble is popped by a danger nobody has anticipated. The band’s security team, always watchful for fan attacks on the members, isn’t prepared for what happens to Addison during this leg of the tour. Will Kyle and Talon be able to help save Addison? Or will her fear force her to pack her bags and return to LA?

Everything hinges on her decision…

Two men. One woman. A rock band. A tour bus. One Wild Ride…

My Review:
Craving Talon picks up where Claiming Addison left off - Addison, Talon, and Kyle are heading over to Cami and Tristan's house for dinner with the band. After Addison's performance with Talon Bold is eager to sign her on as a client and an overwhelmed Addison realizes that her life is changing forever.

As Addison and her sexy men try new things, break down walls, and grow ever closer Addison is also learning to deal with her new found fame. But with that fame comes the dangers of being in the public eye and Addison wonders if she can really handle a rock star's lifestyle. New jealousies spring up and as the wild new lifestyle takes its toll on Addison will it bring the trio closer together or tear them apart?

After reading and loving Claiming Addison I was eager to read Craving Talon. While I did really, really like book two, I'm not sure I loved it as much as I did book one. I know these books are considered erotica but I kind of felt like there was too much sex. Every other scene seems like the kinky trio was hopping into the sack and there wasn't much storyline in between. I know part of it was to show that the trio were testing and surpassing their boundaries but after a while it became less sexy and more boring, in my opinion.

There were maybe three scenes that I felt picked up the pace and switched up the story adding a little bit of drama; the incident in Dallas, the bus thing, and the fight about the country singer but overall it kind of felt like the complications became smoothed over non-issues in the span of a page or two.

Am I invested in the characters enough to see how the trio's story ends? Yes, I'm just hoping for a little more story in book three.

My Rating: 
3.75/5 Stars

Friday, January 13, 2017

All About ARCs

Over the past year, you've probably heard me mention the term "ARC" quite a few times and unless you're a book blogger or some other kind of book insider I'm betting you're wondering what ARC stands for. 

What Is An ARC?
An ARC is an Advanced Reader Copy or uncorrected galley proof of an upcoming novel, used for review and promotional purposes. They can come in both e-book or physical format.

Who Gets ARCs?
ARCs are expensive to produce so they're not available for everyone. Not all books get ARCS made of them and only a set amount of a book are made and they usually go to book bloggers, reviewers, librarians, and booksellers since the main goal of an ARC is to garner publicity for the book. Always remember, especially if you're an author: Reviews = Greater chance that someone will buy the book.

Question: I blog about books, how do I get ARCs?
I know a lot of other blogs have covered this subject before, but you have to consider a few things before requesting ARCs. 

1. How long have you been blogging? 

If your answer is less than six months I'd try reviewing books that you've purchased/borrowed/gotten from the library for a while, building up a book review portfolio if you will. Most publishers are looking for established blogs with a certain number of page views/month or subscribers. That number varies by each publisher but they still look for people that have been blogging for a while.

2. Are books the sole focus of your blog?  Do you blog about other stuff (clothing, crafting, makeup, etc.) most of the time and just throw in a book mention here or there? Yeah, you probably shouldn't request a book ARC if that's not what you blog about. You'll just have to wait for it to hit bookshelves. 

3. Are you really going to read the book?

Since there is a limited number of ARCs made and distributed it wouldn't be fair for you to request a book and then not read it when the publisher could have given it to someone that would read and review it. I mean if you try reading it and can't get into it or it ends up in the DNF pile that's one thing, but requesting a book just to say you got it before someone else is not good. 

4. Are you willing to write an Honest Review?
Really, the whole point of ARCs is to create buzz for the upcoming release, which includes book reviews. In the world of getting ARCs, writing a review on a book you've requested should be a requirement in my opinion. The review doesn't have to be super long, but I think the publisher, as well as potential buyers that might read your review, are looking for what you did/didn't like about the book. "What if I don't like the book/do not finish it?" You ask. Well, in the case of not liking the book, it's okay to say that you don't like it for whatever your reasons are. As long as you're being honest about your opinion that is all that matters. {You are not required as a review to give a positive review of any product just because you've been sent the product for review. That is called "buying a positive review" and is completely wrong. If Amazon even thinks that might be what's going on the can and will remove your review.} The same goes for not finishing the book. You don't need to finish a book to write a review on it... just tell them honestly what you didn't like about the book that caused you to not finish reading it. 

Now on to the fun part...

Question: Who/Where do I go to Request an ARC/eARC?
So you've been blogging about books for a while and you're finally ready to take the seemingly scary challenge of requesting an ARC from a publisher, but where do you start? As I mentioned above there are two different formats for ARCs: Physical (paperback) Advanced Reader Copies and eBook Advanced Reader Copies. 

There are two main sites that I know of that you can request eARCs from for review: 

Netgalley
Netgalley is the main site I use for eARCs and it's easy to sign up for and use. 

To Sign Up:

1. Visit: http://netgalley.com and click on the orange box that reads: "Become a Member"
2. Fill in all the information and hit register. 
3. Once you're registered go to your profile and fill in all of the stats for your blog such as how long you've been blogging, your page views per month, your follower count, your preferred genres, and anything else you think you want the publishers reviewing your profile to know. 

You're all set! Now just search through the books being offered in your preferred genres and when you find something you're interested in hit request. The publisher has the right to review all requests that come to them. Do not feel discouraged if you get turned down. It may be that they met their limit of eARCs they were planning to send out or some other reason that has absolutely nothing to do with you as a reviewer. 

Edelweiss
Edelweiss (https://edelweiss.abovethetreeline.com) is similar to Netgalley but uses a slightly different process when requesting books.

Once you've registered and found a book you want to request do the following:

1. It will ask you what you're requesting as; i.e. blogger, academic, bookseller, librarian, etc. Choose which applies to you.

2. Fill in a description of your role: This is where you tell them your name, your blog /url, stats, etc. 

3. Additional Message: (Specific reason for requesting this title): Here you tell them why you want to read and review this book. Have you read the previous book in the series? Are you participating in a blog tour for the book? Are you a fan of the author and would love the chance to read his/her next book? Put that information here. 

4. Hit submit and wait to be approved or denied. 

Physical ARCs
Physical ARCs are a bit harder to get in my opinion. I myself have only gotten three so far, one of which was from an indie author I love and another I got from a blogger friend of mine that was done with it and was nice enough to give me their copy so I could read and review. But how do you reach out to a publisher to request a review copy? (Remember: don't contact an author for review copies, they are not in charge of sending them out - the publisher is!) 

1. Find the publisher's website of the book you want to request. (Always have a book in mind... do not just email a publisher and tell them "send me whatever you've got.")

2. Locate their contact information and if they have a specific contact for their publicity department (this is who usually handles review requests.)

3. Compose and send an email review request with some info about your blog, a link to your blog, and your stats, how long you've been blogging as well as which book(s) you're interested in reviewing and why you would like to review that book(s). If you've read and reviewed a previous book by that author or in that series it doesn't hurt to include a link to that review on your blog.  Also and most IMPORTANT: include your full address. How can they send you a physical ARC if they don't have your address?

You may or may not get a response from your email. Publishers get tons of emails from people every day and can't always respond to each one personally. Don't take that as a bad sign. Now you wait to see if you receive a Physical ARC. Don't take it personally if you don't. In the end, there are probably thousands of reviewers requesting the same book you are, with only a limited number of ARCs. 

So you've received an ARC. Now what?
So you've been lucky enough to have been approved for an ARC and you are now in possession of an ARC / eARC of the book you wanted. Now what?

1. Read the book!!! (This is why you requested it after all.)

2. Write a review of the book and schedule it on your blog. (I recommend not posting the review until around the week of the book's release but some publishers will give you specific guidelines)

3. Send in your feedback (if you have an eARC through Netgalley or Edelweiss you'll be able to give feedback right on the website. Alternately you can email the publicity department of that publisher with your review or send a hard copy to their office if that is what they prefer.) 

4. Post your review on your blog, Amazon, Goodreads, and any other outlets you choose to post your review on. (I recommend doing this on the release date.)

5. Remember: ARCs are uncorrected galley proofs, they are not for sale so please do not try to resell them! 

***

So there you go, now you know a little more about Advanced Reader Copies.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Book Review: The Architect of Song by A.G. Howard

The Architect of Song by A.G. Howard
Blurb:
A lady imprisoned by deafness, an architect imprisoned by his past, and a ghost imprisoned within the petals of a flower - intertwine in this love story that transcends life and death. 

For most of her life, Juliet Emerline has subsisted - isolated by deafness - making hats in the solitude of her home. Now, she's at risk to lose her sanctuary to Lord Nicolas Thornton, a mysterious and eccentric architect with designs on her humble estate. When she secretly witnesses him raging beside a grave, Juliet investigates, finding the name "Hawk" on the headstone and an unusual flower at the base. The moment Juliet touches the petals, a young English nobleman appears in ghostly form, singing a song only her deaf ears can hear. The ghost remembers nothing of his identity or death, other than the one name that haunts his afterlife: Thornton. 

To avenge her ghostly companion and save her estate, Juliet pushes aside her fear of society and travels to Lord Thornton's secluded holiday resort, posing as a hat maker in one of his boutiques. There, she finds herself questioning who to trust: the architect of flesh and bones who can relate to her through romantic gestures, heartfelt notes, and sensual touches ... or the specter who serenades her with beautiful songs and ardent words, touching her mind and soul like no other man ever can. As sinister truths behind Lord Thornton's interest in her estate and his tie to Hawk come to light, Juliet is lured into a web of secrets. But it's too late for escape, and the tragic love taking seed in her heart will alter her silent world forever. 

My Review:
After a childhood case of the mumps took her hearing Juliet Emerline has spent her life in silent isolation at her mother's side helping with her millinery business. But now her mother is gone leaving her alone in the world, save for her uncle Owen and her trusted maid Enya.

On the day of her mother's funeral Juliet spies an anguished man banging his head against a gated grave. Flustered, she falls and the man, interrupted in his solace, helps her to her feet. After he leaves, Juliet takes a closer look at the grave and finds an unusual silver-petaled flower blooming in front of the grave. Stealthily she digs it up and hides it in her clothing.

Upon returning to her uncle's carriage, Juliet learns the man that came to her aid is none other than Lord Thornton, the viscount that's been trying to buy her family home for months.

When she returns home Juliet discovers the plant holds the spirit of an attractive young man, Hawk - a man that has no memory of his life or how he died. How is the handsome ghost connected to Lord Thornton? Juliet vows to uncover the truth and help Hawk remember his life.

As Juliet is drawn into the mystery of Hawk's past and thrust into a future she doesn't want with the young, attractive viscount she finds herself falling for both men. But which man can really hold her heart? Could Juliet ever really have a future with a ghost? Or could she allow herself to imagine a future with the last person she ever dreamed she would fall in love with?

Soon it becomes all too clear that there were sinister circumstances surrounding Hawk's death. Is it possible that Juliet has been spending her time with a violent, rogueish murderer?

The Architect of Song is a beautiful, gothic romance full of mystery, secrets, misconceptions, and hope. Of all of A.G. Howard's books, I think The Architect of Song might be my favorite. It reminds me of both RoseBlood and Splintered in certain ways and in the story-weaving that is unique to the author.

I found Juliet to be likable and her instant chemistry with Hawk was steamy. It was interesting watching both Hawk and Chaine's characters, in particular, evolve and change throughout the book. In the beginning, I definitely felt devotion for one and skepticism for the other but then it switched up and suddenly I was apprehensive for the first and totally head over heels for the other. Without giving anything away I can say, just when you think you have everything figured out the plot twists, throwing you for a surprised loop.

I loved the setting and storyline of The Architect of Song and unraveling the mystery of Hawk and Chaine kept me hooked. Overall, The Architect of Song is a great read that reminded me personally of gothic romances from Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey era and a splash of the movie Crimson Peak (without the blood, gore, and horror). I would definitely read this book again and recommend it to everyone that enjoys a gothic, romantic, historical mystery. I can't wait to read the next book!

My Rating:
5 of 5 Stars!